All About Dog Tails

Dogs Tails

It is a fact that the dog tail movement signifies various emotions of the dog-like excitement, happiness, depression, etc. Let’s find out in this blog of the various reasons for what wagging dog tails mean?

Dog Tail wags to communicate their emotions with you whether they are happy or sad you can understand by the way they wag their tails and by looking in those big doe eyes.

In this article, we will help you understand all about their behavior that includes your furry friend and what it means so you could understand your pet better.

Why Dogs Have Tails?

Why Dogs Have Tails

You may always wonder why dogs even have a tail as it’s their part of their body so those tails are there for a reason.

Tails offer benefits for dogs, not only it makes them adorable for their owners or any person they meet but also they are important in their daily life.

When your dog runs and suddenly moves the other way your dog’s tail works to assist with skillful movement as you will see when your dog needs to change direction while running, his body needs a little help.

You will notice that your dog’s front legs will go in the direction that he intends to go, while the rear legs continue in the original direction.

But the tail will also turn in the new direction.

Tossing the tail in the same direction and the body turns to help as a counterweight to your dog’s body, ensuring that your dog doesn’t spin off course or tumble around.

Tails balance out their body whether they are walking, running, walking on a narrow surface, The tail helps the dog maintain his balance by putting its weight on the opposite side of the dog’s tilt helping them in waling.

Some dogs love climbing as the tail helps them in uneven footing.

This way Dogs Tail Wagging could be a regular occurrence even if he’s sitting idly as this is your dog’s body part and their everyday thing.

Dog Tail Wagging In Circles

Dog Tail Wagging In Circles

When your dog wags tail in a circular motion which is also called “Helicopter Wag” that’s when your dog’s tail continuously going around in a circle.

A circular wag happens when your dog is really excited like when you are feeding them or maybe when they see the person they love.

You don’t have to worry if your dog does not do the circular wag so don’t doubt their love for you as it depends on their tails.

Some tails, whose tail is curved upwards, docked or clipped tail just can’t do it so if your dog is someone like pug they are not able to do it.

When they are doing circular wags they are not angry or aggressive so you don’t have to worry about that just be ready for an overly excited dog.

Also when the dog’s arousal increases it starts wagging its tail higher until it completes a full circle also when too much overjoyed they will start moving their bodies too into circular motion.

Dog Tail Down

Dog Tail Down

When your dog’s tail is down it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are nervous or submissive it could just simply mean that they are relaxed.

 But if your dog’s tail is down and they are whimpering or growling that means they are unsatisfied or simply upset about something.

You can try to cheer your dog up by playing with them, giving your attention and simply coaxing him to cheer up.

Or maybe your dog is simply tired and wants to rest not everything can be because he is sick though if you see an unusual limp in your dog’s tail that might occur because of the medical condition that is called “Limber Tail”.

We will be discussing limber tail in detail further in the article.

Limber Tail

Limber Tail

It is called “limber Tail Syndrome” or “Acute Caudal Myopathy” and is a type of disorder in the muscle of the tail, usually affecting Working Dogs.

It is also called as swimmer’s tail, cold water tail, broken tail, dead tail, or broken wag.

It can be recognized by flaccid tail causing it to be painful at or near its base. 

It is most pronounced in the dogs who wag their tail a lot.

It’s said that swimming in water that is too cold or too hot can cause limper tail in dogs in less than 24 hours’ time interval.

The actual cause is still unknown but it may be caused by the narrowing of the space through which the spinal cord passes, due to degenerative change to the intervertebral disk spaces.

These underlying changes may not lead to real change until the problem is suddenly exacerbated, such as during physical activity, after trauma, etc.

Time to time changes is seen before or in conjunction with the limber tail disease that is fecal or urinary incontinence, postural abnormalities in the pelvic limb, or pain in response to touching the lower back.

The best treatment is to let your dog rest their tail and you can use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain relief.

Though the symptoms may reoccur again in the future.

Why Do Dogs Wag Their Tails?

Why Do Dogs Wag Their Tails

A wagging tail does not mean that they want to be petted, sure they are in a good mood when they are wagging their tail but not all the time.

They use their tails to communicate their emotions as annoyance, agitation, anger or happiness.

Tails have many purposes but the real purpose of tails is to help dogs to balance their bodies and to stop them from tumbling while making sharp turns during running or swimming.

Most dogs don’t start wagging their tails till they are about a month and half old when they have need to communicate with their owners, littermates or owners.

Though most owners prefer to get the dog’s tails docked it’s like snatching their only source of communication leaving the barking method to them as you can’t figure out much from their barks.

There is no need to dock their tail as you are taking away a part of their body and causing them pain and taking away a source to communicate for no reason.

Dog Tail Between Legs

Dog Tail Between Legs

Tail between their legs may indicate a lot of things like pain, fear but these are the only things we tend to think.

Also, these might be the only reason they might be tucking their tail between their legs when they are frightened, scared or simply anxious.

But if you observe this situation more than one day then you have to look out for the disease or illness.

As they do position their tails like this as a response to numerous health conditions.

Some of the disorders are:

  • Tail fracture:

Your dog will be in a lot of pain with they got their tail fractured as a dislocated and fractured tail can be an agonizing sensation.

Longtails are more at risk of a severe injury as dog tails get fractured easily.

Some symptoms you can notice are some bleeding skin, your dog gets agitated and starts chewing or licking their tail, the foul smell starts coming from their tail, there is a loss of hair in the tail region or your dog might simply be in pain all the time.

If you notice these symptoms take your dog to your vet and let your dog rest for a long period of time, give them a nutritious diet and a safe, clean environment.

  • Pyoderma:

It is a tucked tail and a clear indication of a skin infection.

Your dog is to most likely get pyoderma if its tail has got scraped or a cut and not cleaned up it is at risk of getting the infection.

It is an infection caused by fungus, bacteria or parasites.

Though this condition is quite common in dogs.

The symptoms are recognized when you find the presence of papules on their tail, the shape of circle crust, dry areas on their tail, itchiness, or the obvious symptom is when you see their tail between their legs.

Terrier, Bulldog, Shar-Pei, Pitbull and Cocker Spaniel are some breeds that are more prone to getting pyoderma.

Take them to your vet for treatment the prescription of antibiotics lasts for about 2 to 6 weeks so make sure you give them on time.

The majority of pyoderma will heal with antibiotics but also with regular baths and medical shampoo your dog will be alright.

These are some diseases that can be the reason for your dog’s tail between their legs for a long time.

Dog Tail Docking

Dog Tail Docking

The removal of a portion of an animal’s tail is called docking.

It takes one of two ways of procedure.

The first method is when they constrict the blood supply to tail with the rubber ligature for a few days till the tail falls off.

The second method involves second the severance of the tail with surgical scissors or a scalpel.

Dog tail docking is banned and restricted in many parts of the world like Australia and the United Kingdom.

The AKC states that these practices are “integral to defining and preserving breed character” in specific breeds.

Docking their tails means snatching their ability to communicate with other dogs and to express their emotions.

Docking is mostly done to make the dog’s appearance better and it is also said that it keeps them more energetic.

Research states that docking tail is to keep them from injuring their tail again and again and causing themselves harm.

Docking of the tail can cause avoidable and unnecessary long term chronic pain and distress to the dog.

Dog Tail Wag Direction

Dog Tail Wag Direction

The new study says that we can recognize a lot of your dog’s emotions only by dog tail wag direction.

When your dog swings its tail to the right that means your dog is relaxed and happy.

When your dog swings their tail to the left that means your dog is inducing stress and is unsatisfied.

The dogs who wag their tail to the left side it is said they are very anxious and their heart rate picks up.

The dogs who wag their tail to the right side it is said they are very calm and show excitement and companionship.

When their tails are up they are alert and they sense some danger and they keep watching ready to confront any danger if there is any.

When they stop wagging their tails and freeze it means they sense danger and want to avoid it by being non-aggressive or it may simply mean that they are relaxed.

When the tail is in the vertical position and neutral or arches over the back that means your dog is being aggressive and the higher the tail, the greater the danger is.

When the tail moves lower and stays neutral that means your dog is being submissive and is not a threat for you.

If your dog’s tail is between the rear legs it means your dog is scared or simply anxious about something.

Dog Growling And Wagging Tail

Dog Growling And Wagging Tail

People usually ignore the other stance and front head part of a dog’s body and assume that a wagging tail means they are in a playful mood.

Though the growling sound is not always a sign to back off as they even might growl playfully.

If his body is stiff and they are doing a loose circular wag and looks like a stiff side-to-side motion along with a low growl that means your dog is warning you about something or is telling is to step aside.

If your dog gives you a high-pitched growl it means they want you to move away as they are scared.

Few short growls and tail wagging from side to side mean your dog is happy and is playing with you.

Growls and wagging tail comes from different pitches and different meanings so are careful when your dog starts growling at you though it doesn’t always mean they are threating as these growls can be playful.

We hope we were able to quench your curiosity regarding dog tails and related issues.

Do let us know about your thought in the comment section!

Happy petting you guys!


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